Aboriginal Community Housing

Barkuma’s key objective is to ensure that housing for our community is appropriate, having regard to the social and cultural requirements, living patterns and preferences of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our community.

Barkuma also seeks to ensure that in providing housing assistance for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, priority is given to those individuals who are most in need. Barkuma is working to increase the range of housing choices for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within our community so as to reflect the diversity of individual and community needs.

Barkuma is working closely with the NSW Aboriginal Housing Office and the Department of Housing to ensure our programs and services are administered efficiently and are integrated with other complimentary programs and services to assist Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander people.

If you or someone you know is in need of housing, you can lodge your application online or apply by phone on 1800 422 322.

Information for Tenants

Requests for Repairs and Maintenance

Tenants can lodge a request for repair and or maintenance by providing a completed copy of Barkuma’s Request for Maintenance Form to a Barkuma staff member in person, or to the Housing Manager. External Clients can call (02) 4937 1094 to notify Barkuma staff of a request for repairs and or maintenance, and may also email [email protected]. Tenants may also write to the Housing Manager at Barkuma and send the correspondence to 76 Lang Street, Kurri Kurri, NSW, 2327.

Emergency Repairs or Replacements

Emergency repairs or replacements, regardless of the time of day they occur, will be handled promptly.

Emergency need will be defined as those situations posing immediate threat to the Health and Safety of residents and/or the integrity of the grounds, buildings and equipment, including water, electricity, gas, adequate heat and plumbing, glass breakage which deprives resident of security or heat or repairs which if not performed would expose the Tenant or other residents to injury.

During business hours, all emergency maintenance issues must be reported to Barkuma. In case of an emergency after business hours, Tenants will be given emergency telephone numbers to use to report any issues.

Complaints Process for Tenants

What is a Complaint?

A complaint as an expression of dissatisfaction with a specific aspect of Barkuma’s services where the complainant is unhappy with the standard or type of service and requests a changed outcome.

Examples of complaints include

  • Failing to provide a service or an aspect of a service such as not completing a repair, not conducting Tenant visits or not providing rent statements
  • Rude or inappropriate Staff behaviour
  • Poor administration of a service such as not recording changes in circumstances or sending out appropriate forms
  • Providing an inconsistent or inaccurate service such as responding differently in different circumstances

How we Receive Complaints

A complaint may be made by a person to whom Barkuma delivers services or who is affected by our services, a partner, a local organisation with which we work, our Staff, Volunteers, donors or a member of the public.

Complaints can be lodged by reporting them to the CEO, or a Committee Member. External Clients can call (02) 4937 1094, email [email protected], or write to the CEO or ‘The Committee’ at Barkuma and send the correspondence to 76 Lang Street, Kurri Kurri, NSW, 2327.

If a Tenant wishes to complain directly to the NSW Aboriginal Housing Office, or is dissatisfied with the outcome of a complaint, the issue can be referred to the NSW Aboriginal Housing Office directly at: [email protected], or to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) or by phone on 1300 006 228.

Appealing a Decision

An Appeal is a disagreement by an Applicant or Tenant with a decision made by Barkuma that affects their application for housing, or their tenancy, and which the Applicant or Tenant has requested be reviewed. An Appeal is not a Complaint.

Barkuma is committed to the fair and effective management of Appeals.

How to Appeal a Decision

Applicants and Tenants can appeal decisions made by Barkuma, including decisions about eligibility for community housing and offers of housing, decisions to decline an application or to transfer a Tenant, and decisions about eligibility for a rental subsidy.

All Appeals must be lodged with Barkuma within three months of the Applicant or Tenant being notified by Barkuma of the original decision.

Where possible, Applicants and Tenants who are not satisfied with a Barkuma decision are encouraged to initially speak to the Barkuma staff member who advised them of the decision (or another staff member).

Appeals should be made in writing using the Barkuma Appeals Form available from any Barkuma office. Applicants and Tenants are encouraged to ask a Barkuma staff member for advice on whether their issue can be appealed, as not all issues are eligible to be reviewed.

The Appeals Form can be lodged by providing to a Barkuma staff member, the CEO, or a Committee Member. External Clients can call (02) 4937 1094, email [email protected], or write to the CEO or ‘The Committee’ at Barkuma and send the form to 76 Lang Street, Kurri Kurri, NSW, 2327.

In most cases, level Appeals will be decided within 20 working days from the date Barkuma receives an Applicant’s or Tenant’s written application for review. Exceptions to this timing may be where Barkuma is waiting on further information from the Applicant or Tenant, or another person or organisation.

What to do if unhappy about the outcome of an appeal

If an Applicant or Tenant believes the decision made by Barkuma in their appeal is incorrect and they remain dissatisfied, they can ask the Housing Appeals Committee to review the decision.

The NSW Housing Appeals Committee is an independent agency that can review appeals from individuals who are dissatisfied with decisions made by social housing providers such as Barkuma.

Barkuma will provide a copy of the complaints management and appeal guidelines upon request.